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November 17, 2003 - Image 12

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The Michigan Daily, 2003-11-17

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mmmm-"

4B - The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - November 17, 2003
MICHIGAN 41, NORTHWESTERN 10

.1

Avant shows happy
dance after TD catch
Penalty takes away another Breaston return

GAME STATISICS

Team Stats
First Downs
Rushes/Yards
Passing Yards
Offensive Plays
Total Offense
Return Yards
Comp/Att/I nt
Punts/Avg
Fumbles/Lost
Penalties/Yards
Time of Poss

MICH
26
48/217
288
79
505
19
22/31/0
2/31.5
1/1
4/25
36:04

NU
12
33/117
144
56
261
136
12/23/1
6/33.2
4/2
7/45
24:03

6

By Naweed Sikora
Daily Sports Editor
EVANSTON - Not only did Jason
Avant make the best catch by a Michi-
gan receiver since Marquise Walker's
grab at Iowa two
years ago, he had
quite a celebration
prepared for his old
hometown fans.
Avant, who had
just one career touch-
down (against Oregon) up until Satur-
day, hasn't had many balls thrown to
him in the redzone. Michigan typically
looks to Chris Perry or Braylon
Edwards to get the points, while Avant
has developed into John Navarre's
main third-down option. But this time,
Avant's name was called, and he made
the most of his opportunity.
"That was the greatest catch I've
ever seen," Edwards said.
The sophomore was set in motion
and ran a post route across the field.
Navarre fired a bullet into the end-
zone a little bit ahead of him, but that
didn't really matter. Avant reached
out with one arm and snagged the
ball with his hand, and then pulled it
into his chest before he hit the
ground.
Then it was time for the real show.
Avant got up, put the ball through his
legs and started doing a crouched
strut that was good enough to get the
No. 1 spot on ESPN's SportsCenter's
Top 10 Saturday night.
"I've seen Avant make catches like
that in practice, so I was not totally
amazed," Lloyd Carr said.
With his lack of scoring opportu-
nities, Avant's contributions haven't
been as visible as Michigan's other
receivers. But the sophomore has
been a dependable and dangerous
option for the Wolverines, racking up

more than 40 catches and 700 yards
on the season thus far. Avant's contri-
butions come in many forms, such as
his ability to throw blocks on the
offense or on special teams.
MARLIN SIGHTING: After missing
four games due to injury, safety
Marlin Jackson returned to action
Saturday. He didn't see much action,
though. The coaches just wanted to
get him back in the swing of things,
but didn't want to risk a re-injury.
Based on the defensive stats over
the past four games, the Wolverines
haven't exactly missed Jackson's
presence in the defensive backfield,
but they still feel good about having
him back.
"It's always nice to have a guy like
Marlin Jackson in there because of
what he brings to the table," defen-
sive back Jon Shaw said. "He's such
a talented player, and he can do so
many things to help the team."
BAD NEWS, BREASTON: Punt return-
er Steve Breaston had a punt return
for a touchdown called back because
of a penalty for the second time this
season. Breaston, who should have
four punt returns for touchdowns in
all this season if you count those two
(plus one returned to the two-yard-
line against Notre Dame), said he
wasn't upset.
"It bothers me, but you have to
understand that those are things that
just happen, and it's just part of the
game," Breaston said.
TRAVELING ACT: When Northwest-
ern's marching band began playing
"The Victors" as a tribute to their
opponents before the game, a large
part of the crowd stood up to cheer.
That's because Michigan fans took
over Evanston for the game. Accord-
ing to the Northwestern ticket office,
About 13,000 of the 40,000 fans in
attendance were Michigan fans.

M I C H I G A N

PASSING
Player
Navarre
Totals
RUSHING
Player
Perry
Underwood
Jackson
Totals
RECEIVING
Player
Edwards
Perry
Breaston
Avant
Massaquoi
Dudley
Thompson
Totals

C-A
22-3 1
22-31

Yds TD
288 2
288 2

Att
25
10
9
48
No.
9
5
2
2
2
1
22

Yds
122
40
39
217
Yds
112
50
42
40
22
18
4
288
No.
2

Avg
4.9
4.0
4.3
4.5
Avg
12.4
10.0
21.0
20.0
11.0
18.0
4.0
13.1
Yds
39
24
63

Lg
16
13
9
16
Lg
26
18
37
22
20
18
4
37
Avg
39.0
24.0
31.5

mnt
0
O
TD
2
0
1
3
TD
1
O
0
O
0
0
2
Lg
39
24
39
TD
0
0

6

6

PUNTING
Player
Finley
Navarre
Totals
KICKOFF RETURNS
Player No.
LeSueur1
Totals 1
PUNT RETURNS
Player No.
Breaston 2
Totals 2
DEFENSE
Player
Bowman
Shazor
Reid
M. Jackson
McClintock
Hall
Sarantos
Diggs
Woods
LeSueur
Massey
Barringer
Heuer
Woodley
Shaw
Van Alstyne
Burgess
Mundy
J. Jackson
Tabb
Hood
Harrison
Manning
Dudley
Thompson
Totals

Yds Avg Lg
0 0.0 O
0 0.0 0

40

Yds
19
19
Solo
0
4
O
3
1
1
0
0
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
0
0
O
0
0
0
37

Avg Lg
9.5 19
9.5 19
Asst
7
2
6
1
2
3
3
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
2
2
0
0
1
1
1
1
10

TD
O
0

Tot
7
6
6
4
3
3
3
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
47

BRENDAN O'DONNELL/Daily

Steve Breaston took another punt to the house, but it was called back because of an offsides penalty.

Young stars make future of 'M' defense shine bright

6

By J. Brady McCollough
Daily Sports Editor
EVANSTON - As good as the
Michigan defense is right now,
ranked fifth in the country in total
defense, the expectations for the
unit down the road are even higher
thanks to the emergence of true
freshmen LaMarr Woodley and
Leon Hall.
"We say our junior year, we're
going to be the number one defense
in the country," Woodley said.
That prediction may sound a tad
lofty, but even the team's veterans
are amazed at the lightning-quick
progression of this freshman class.
"I always tell them, 'I'll be very
upset if ya'll don't have at least
three or four All-Americans on your
defense,' " fifth-year senior and
captain Carl Diggs said.
Woodley, recruited as one of the
nation's top linebackers last year,
showed again Saturday why the
coaching staff decided to move him
to defensive end back in fall prac-
tice. The Saginaw native, who has
worked his way into the starting

lineup, forced an errant pitch on a
Brett Basanez option play and later
sacked the mobile Basanez for a
four-yard loss.
"He played well in the first half,"
Michigan defensive line coach Bill
Sheridan said. "When he was in
there, they ran several plays that
directly affected him. They ran an
option into him, and he did a great
job of forcing the fumble. They ran
two bootlegs directly into him. He
had some opportunities to make
plays, and he made them."
Said Woodley: "I think I played
pretty well. I don't think I've played
that well since the Minnesota
game."
Hall has been playing big minutes
for the Wolverines all season at cor-
nerback. When starter Jeremy
LeSueur sat out the Minnesota
game, it was Hall who blitzed from
the corner and wrapped up quarter-
back Asad Abdul-Khaliq to set up
safety Jacob Stewart's interception
return for a touchdown. In Michi-
gan's blowout win over Purdue, Hall
picked off two Kyle Orton passes.
Saturday, Hall took over the team

...... ....................................... ...........
WHO'S NEXT:
OHIO STATE
The Wolverines go back to the Big House
and prepare for their 100th meeting with
the Buckeyes in a battle for the Big Ten
title. Last year, Ohio State beat Michigan
14-9 in Columbus on its way to the nation-
al championship. No. 4 Ohio State (10-1;
6-1) is coming off a 16-13 overtime win
last Saturday against Purdue. Its only loss
this year came against Wisconsin early in
the Big Ten season. It is their only loss in
the last two seasons.
BIG TEN STANDINGS

iam
Ohio State
Michigan
Purdue
Minnesota
Iowa
Wisconsin
Michigan State
Northwestern
Penn State
Indiana
Illinois

Big Ten
6 1
6 1
5 2
5 3
4 3
4 3
4 3
34
1 6
1 6
0 7

Overall
10 1
9 2
8 3
9 3
8 3
7 4
7 4
5 6
3 8
2 9
1 10

0

dgAVIDT IUMAN/Daily
LaMarr Woodley (left) Is just one freshman who has been given a legitimate opportunity to play, and he's making the most of it.

YOU DIDN'T THINK WE FORGOT ABOUT...
THE CLAWWWW
That's right. The tides are turning in Michigan Stadium,
as more and more students have begun to embrace this
new tradition. Clawers: You are not alone anymore - you
are the majority!
The Buckeyes are coming to town for what could be
Michigan's biggest win in several years. The team is ready
for the challenge, but are you ready for yours? It's time to
shake off the rust, curl those fingers, sharpen those nails
and warm up that voice. It's time for the clawwww!!

lead in interceptions, picking off his
third pass of the season by jumping
in front of a Basanez pass.
"He's been doing it all year long,"
Michigan defensive coordinator Jim
Herrmann said. "He's really helped
us become the team that we are,
because we can use him in our nick-
el and dime stuff."
Woodley, at 6-foot-2, 261 pounds,
is the latest in a long line of Michi-
gan defensive ends that were moved
to the end after playing another
position.
Most recently, Larry Stevens
moved from safety and former
defensive end Shantee Orr moved
from linebacker. Woodley, who has
22 tackles (four for loss) and two

sacks this season, said playing
defensive end is becoming more
natural for him.
"As a true freshman, your learn-
ing curve is unbelievable," Her-
rmann said. "Every chance he gets
to step on the field, he's going to get
better. He's done a good job of
going week to week to week, which
is really the biggest adjustment for
freshmen - how different things
change each week."
It's rare that two true freshmen
make such a huge impact on a
Michigan team. Diggs says it's their
listening ability, aside from their
physical attributes, that have set
them apart.
"When we try to give them

advice, they're always out there just
taking it in," Diggs said. "They
want to go out there and play hard
for (the veterans)."
So, is Woodley's goal of being the
No. 1 defense in the nation in two
years feasible?
With a core consisting of defen-
sive linemen Woodley, Larry Harri-
son and Gabe Watson, linebackers
Pierre Woods, Shawn Crable and
Prescott Burgess and defensive
backs Hall, Willis Barringer, Ryan
Mundy and Ernest Shazor, anything
is possible for the future.
"As you look at the recruiting
class we brought in, we think there's
a lot of potentially great football
players in that class," Sheridan said.

THIS WEEKEND'S RESULTS
Michigan 41, Northwestern 20
Ohio State 16, Purdue 13
Wisconsin 56, Michigan State 7
Iowa 40, Minnesota 22
Penn State 52, Indiana 7

I

Date
Aug. 30
Sept. 6
Sept. 13
Sept. 20
Sept. 27
Oct. 4
Oct. 11
Oct. 18
Oct. 25
Nov. 1
Nov. 15
Nov. 22

'M' SCHEDULEO
OOQnent Time/Result
Central Michigan W, 45-7
Houston W, 50-3
Notre Dame W, 38-0
at Oregon L, 27-31
Indiana W, 31-17
at Iowa L, 27-30
at Minnesota W, 38-35
Illinois W, 56-14
Purdue W, 31-3
at Michigan State W, 27-20
at Northwestern W, 41-10
Ohio State Noon

el

Notre Dame
10% 90%

Chop

Indiana
50% 50%
Claw Chop

Purdue
70% 30%
Claw Chop

Claw

WEEKEND'S BEST
OFFENSE WINS GAMES?: Florida
State locked up the ACC title with a
50-44 double-overtime win over
North Carolina State.
The game had 969 yards of total
offence, including 422 yards pass-
ing by N.C. State quarterback Philip
Rivers. But the Wolfpack couldn't
convert on a crucial 4th-and-1 play
in the second overtime. Florida
State won the game two plays later
on a 12-yard touchdown run by
Leon Washington.
BA~CYARDl BRAWL ING: Wes~t Vir-

HOW THE AP TOP 25 FARED
Associated Press Poll for the week of Nov. 11.
Games updated through Nov. 16.

Team:
1. Oklahoma
2. Southern Cal.
3. Louisiana State
4. Ohio State
5. Michigan
6. Texas
7. Georgia
8. Washington State
9. Tennessee
10. Texas Christian
11. Purdue

Last week:
beat Baylor 41-2
beat Arizona 45-0
beat Alabama 27-3
beat Purdue 16-13
beat Northwestem
beat Texas Tech 43-40
beat Auburn 26-7
beat Arizona State 34-19
beat Mississippi State 59-21
beat Cincinnati 43-10
lost to Ohio State 16-13

This week:
at Texas Tech
UCLA
Mississippi
at Michigan
Ohio State
at Texas A&M
Kentucky
Washington
Vanderbilt
at Southern Miss.
at Indiana

TEAM
1. Oklahoma (65)
2. Southern Cal.
3. Louisiana State
4. Ohio State
5. Michigan
6. Georgia
7. Texas
8. Washington State
9. Tennessee
10. Texas Christian
11. Florida State
12. Virginia Tech
13. Florida
13. Miami (Fla.)
15. Missisinni

REC
11-0
9-1
9-1
10-1
9-2
8-2
9-2
9-2
8-2
10-0
9-2
8-2
8-3
8-2

PTS
1,625
1,559
1,474
1,431
1,356
1,205
1,192
1,140
1,092
989
918
845
842
842
805~

PVS
1
2
3
4
5
7
6
8
9
10
13
12
15
14
17

NEW AP
TOP 25
(first-place votes in parentheses)

THE Ohio State Claw

This is the claw reserved for this occasion. And
remember, THERE ARE NO RULES!

I

And

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